Farmington Hills teen orchestrates fundraiser

Rosie Burns-Pavlik
Rosie Burns-Pavlik will play Romberg’s “Sonata in C Major” during the Orchestrating for Freedom concert. (Photo by Dane Gussin)

Faced with the challenge of organizing a creative service project for an International Baccalaureate class, Harrison High sophomore Rosie Burns-Pavlik decided to orchestrate something special.

Burns-Pavlik and more than a half-dozen of her schoolmates will on November 11 present “Orchestrating for Freedom,” a benefit concert for Freedom House. The Detroit nonprofit provides a temporary haven for people who have escaped persecution in other countries and are seeking asylum in the U.S. and Canada.

“I like music, and I love Freedom House,” said Burns-Pavlik, who has volunteered as a babysitter for immigrants who take classes to familiarize themselves with American customs, traditions, and language.

Freedom House, she added, is one of the few shelters for people seeking asylum, the only one that fully covers legal costs, physical and mental health care, clothing, room and board. It helps immigrants start new lives.

“I love the community aspect of it,” Burns-Pavlik said. “They’re also so appreciative… They are really amazing people who have gone through a lot, and they’re so thankful for everything.”

Concert performers will include soloists playing pieces of their own choosing: Jeff Bell, senior, piano; Perry Kreiss, junior, trombone; Faith Berry, senior, violin; Darius Bonner, senior, cello; Anushka Jain, sophomore, piano; Veena Thamilsivan, junior, violin; Finn Birach, senior, percussion; and Burns-Pavlik on cello.

“We have people who are amazing musicians,” she said. “A couple will be playing their college audition pieces.”

The concert begins in the Harrison High Auditorium at 7 p.m., and admission is $3. Additional cash donations and gift cards from Target, Meijer, and similar stores will be gratefully accepted. The school is located at 29995 W. 12 Mile Rd. in Farmington Hills.